By Dipo Olowookere
The University of Ilorin (Unilorin), Kwara State, now has a new Vice-Chancellor and he is Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem.
The university don emerged as the 10th Vice Chancellor of the institution after a rigorous selection process.
His emergence followed the expiration of the present occupier of the position, Professor A.G. Ambali, on October 15, 2017.
The new Vice-Chancellor, according to a statement issued today by the Pro-Chancellor & Chairman of Council, Dr Abdullah Jibril Oyekan, will resume office on October 16, 2017.
It was disclosed that the council commenced the process for the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor by announcing the vacancy in two national newspapers, ThisDay and the Herald on Friday, April 14, 2017.
The advertisement was also placed on the university’s website and the University’s Weekly Bulletin.
Interested applicants were given six weeks to submit their applications with a closing date of May 26, 2017.
Immediately thereafter, Council met and constituted the Joint Council/Senate Selection Board as well as the Search Team for the appointment of Vice Chancellor.
The Search Team visited Universities in various geographical zones of the country and contacted senior academic staff in these institutions who might not have applied for the position.
Subsequently, the Selection Board considered all the applications received and shortlisted candidates based on the various parameters indicated in the advertisement.
The Selection Board later interacted with the shortlisted candidates over a period of three days from Wednesday, August 23, to Friday, August 25, 2017.
At the end of the exercise, the Selection Board forwarded its recommendation to Council for further consideration.
At its meeting on Monday, August 28, 2017, Council, in accordance with the University Act and the provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2003, considered the recommendation of the Selection Board and approved the appointment of Professor Abdulkareem for the job.
DLM Capital Introduces Child Education Plan
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A Child Education Plan aimed to provide parents and guardians with an easy and appropriate way to handle the burdens of tuition payment through efficient planning and long-term investments has been launched by DLM Asset Management, a DLM Capital Group subsidiary.
The initiative aligns with the firm’s commitment to providing opportunities for parents/guardians to secure the education of their children or wards through effective planning and sustainable investments.
The product is a suitable and flexible investment plan that enables parents/guardians to plan and fund their children’s education from kindergarten to tertiary levels.
The DLM Child Education Plan allows parents to plan and invest in their children’s education on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
According to the company, the Child Education Plan also allows investors to tailor their plans based on their specific needs or situations.
The DLM Child Education Plan is divided into the Silver plan, which requires a minimum of N20,000 per time, the Gold plan, which requires a minimum of N100,000 per time, and the Platinum plan, which requires a minimum of N250,000 per time.
Furthermore, the DLM Child Education Plan provides the option of working with an advisor who will provide relevant and useful information while guiding the client through the entire planning process.
Speaking about the new product, Mr George Aniegbunem, Head DLM Asset Management, stated, “Despite the recent economic meltdown, most parents and guardians will agree that the importance of education cannot be overstated.”
“As a result, the DLM Child Education Plan was implemented to provide a sustainable and dependable plan for funding a child’s education at all levels of education (mostly primary, secondary, and tertiary levels).
“Indeed, the current economic situation and high inflation rate have put tremendous strain on many families; thus, we are here to help with strategies that would provide a suitable plan, financial literacy, and the ease of funding children’s education in a seamless manner,” Mr Aniegbunem added.
The Powerful Women of UNICAL
By Gift Adango
The University of Calabar (UNICAL), located in coastal Calabar Municipal, an ancient city with a long tradition of culture and contact with western civilization, is a second-generation federal university in Nigeria.
Founded in 1975 under the National Higher Education Expansion Programme of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria, the university has grown to become one of the best-ranked universities in Nigeria and the 65th best-ranked university in Africa from just 896 students in 1976.
International organisations, including the United Nations (UN), have been advocating for universities to adopt the National Gender Policy, the policy represents a set of minimum standards expected of the Nigerian government to meet its mandate for gender equality, good governance, accountability, and being socially responsive to the needs of its vulnerable group.
The University of Calabar has been leading the pack of Nigerian universities as it is set to adopt the gender policy. The UNICAL Senate is poised to give the policy the green light once the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike is suspended.
The draft policy has been at the senate before the commencement of the strike action. Apart from the gender policy, the University of Calabar is one of the few which has gender-equal management in the country and Africa at large.
The Women in Leadership Positions at the University of Calabar
Professor Florence Banku Obi hails from Boki local government area in Cross River State. She began her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the Institute of Education, the University of Calabar in March 1990.
Two years after her appointment, with her utmost desire to foster a bold and innovative spirit in faculty teaching and academic excellence, she won a 6-month postgraduate scholarship to Jordan-Hill College of Education, Glasgow, Scotland, under the World University Service (WUS) World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in a keenly contested interview for staff of the Institute of Education. On her return from the United Kingdom, she was placed in charge of the WWF/NCF-funded schools and Community Education Programmes. She subsequently facilitated the development of the degree program in Environmental Education at the university, which has since resulted in the establishment of a full-fledged and flourishing Department of Environmental Education.
Professor Florence Banku biography further entails how she rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Special Needs Education in 2007. As Dean, she pioneered the take-off of 22 affiliate programs of the Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State, and the Federal College of Education, Kastina-Ala, Benue State to the faculty of Education of the University of Calabar. Following her credibility, integrity, and commitment to service, she was voted as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) by the University Senate. As DVC Academics, she was also a member of the university governing council, where she brought her wealth of experience to bear on the growth and development of the university.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics)
Angela Ekanem Oyo-Ita, a Professor of Community Medicine and a former Commissioner for Health of Cross River State is the head of the academic activities at UNICAL. She is responsible for ensuring effective and efficient academic staff development as well as ensuring the effective academic development of students. Professor Angela is also a Fellow of the West African College of Physicians (Community Health). She has served in several capacities at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
The University Librarian
Professor Aniebiet Inyang Ntui is an Associate of the European Union Research Initiative – Europeana, the University of the West of Scotland’s Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development and the University of Glasgow’s UK-COP 26 Universities Climate Network. She has served as a Consultant of Information Management to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank.
Recently suggested by an Op-Ed as one of the possible candidates to serve as the Minister of Education in the Peter Obi-led administration if he can successfully win the February 2023 poll. She is one of the most read researchers in Nigeria, according to statistics on the Web of Science Site, with over 500,000 reads on the ResearchGate Portal.
Oyoko Primary School: An Avoidable Saga
By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi
As a background to this piece, it is important to underline that this author would be the very last person to insinuate that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, has not done good things as that would be a lie from the pit of hell.
Aside from demonstrating this fact in my previous opinion articles, commentaries and interventions which favoured or supported policies, actions, inactions and decisions of the Delta State government, I have recently argued that he (the Governor) is eminently qualified to be the nation’s Vice President and would stupendously perform if a such feat is achieved.
However, like every media professional, this piece will continue to support the fundamental needs of the state and the positive purpose of the elected government if such policies by the state actors will not in any way dent or obstruct the people from becoming keen to acquire skills and disciplines of developed nations, it will not support a policy/action based on sentiment or allow sentiment to determine its judgments.
A typical example of such an exception is the pictures of the sorry state of Oyoko Primary School, Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area of the state currently in circulation.
The disturbing pictures showed visibly distressed structures, and dilapidated classrooms laced with fallen ceilings, windows and doors. Going by the pictures and accompanying commentaries, it cannot be characterized as an overstatement to describe such a ‘scene’ as deplorable, dehumanizing, troubling, in bad light bracingly in contravention of international best standards and most importantly, a reality that all well-meaning Deltans including our dear Governor should worry about.
Paradoxically, within this period, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to read many commentaries underlining that this is not the time to hold our state government accountable for such an ugly scenario as the responsibility of the primary schools and primary education in the state falls within the preview of the local government authority. To others, the only remedy for this problem is simply to encourage parents to accept fate as across the world, education is neither easy nor cheap to fund.
Without a doubt, Okowa has done appreciably well for the sector. Take, as an illustration, Delta State under Governor Okowa’s first term in office witnessed the renovation/reconstruction/construction of over 5,000 classrooms. He also incubated, nurtured and brought into existence three healthy universities to cater for the academic yearnings of the people of the state.
Evidence also abounds that as a result of the work of the Technical and Vocational Education Board in conjunction with the supervising Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in the state, six technical colleges in Agbor, Sapele, Ofagbe, Utagba-Ogbe, Ogor and Issele-Uku have been fully rehabilitated, well equipped and fully functional.
Consequently, Delta is the first state in the country to have all of the courses offered by its technical colleges accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
These efforts notwithstanding, the truth is that the state leadership is bound to face confusion in their minds and may not be able to finish strong as presently envisaged if they allow this present reality at Oyoko and other schools to flourish unaddressed.
For me, I think the Oyoko primary school saga was avoidable if only the government’s attention was drawn to it by those who should know.
Another urgent reason why the state government needs to intervene, reassess this process and address the present injustice is the hidden awareness that the Oyoko experience may be one out of many other numerous sad commentaries in the state. While the Oyoko case exists in the open, many others may in a covert/subtle manner be in that condition. If the Oyoko experience is a challenge, others may be a challenge.
More touchingly, that such a ‘learning environment’ still exists in the state could be considered a sure sign that the state did not learn any lesson from the ghastly experience recorded a few years ago at Okotie Eboh Primary school, Sapele area of the state or may have allowed such experience go with political winds.
Surely, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that our schools work and our children are properly educated at the right time. But in this particular case, if the state fails to do the needful, it will again dispatch another sign of a people unmindful of the fact that our children enjoy the right to education as recognized by a number of international conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which recognizes a compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, as well as the progressive introduction of free higher education/obligation to develop equitable access to higher education.
Most importantly, not taking action to address the situation will simply mean our youths/nation by extension is faced with a bleak future.
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), a Lagos-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). He can be reached via Jeromeutomi@yahoo.com/08032725374
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